Santa Anita Park offers a great weekend of horse racing on March 11 and 12. Santa Anita, home of some of the thoroughbred racing in the country, hosts two graded stakes events on March 11 and one on March 12. The following is a look at Saturday’s Grade III San Carlos and Grade I Beholder Mile Stakes.
Grade III San Carlos Stakes
The $200,000 Grade III San Carlos Stakes is a one-turn seven-furlong race at San Anita Park presented by FanDuel. Six male horses, 4-year-old and older, are expected to go to post at 5:29 p.m. (ET) on Saturday.
Forbidden Kingdom (8/5) and Get Her Number (9/5) are the classiest horses in the field, with each being a Graded Stakes winner. The San Carlos Stakes originated in 1935 as the San Carlos Handicap and was run at one and one-sixteenth miles until 1939. Flavien Prat, who won last year’s Cezanne, looks to win the event in back-to-back years as he gets the ride on Get Her Number.
I expect the race to be highly competitive and entertaining. I like Holden the Lute, Forbidden Kingdom, Spirit of Makenna, Howbeit, and Get Her Number to varying degrees.
Holden the Lute (6/1):
Holden the Lute has gotten better as he has aged. The 6-year-old gelding easily has been very consistent lately, winning a 7-furlong AOC race here the last time out in January. He has finished either first (twice) or second in seven straight events.
While Holden the Lute hasn’t faced the stiffest competition lately, he does like to run at San Anita. Possibly consider in exotics.
Forbidden Kingdom (8/5)
Forbidden Kingdom has raced better in his last two races after struggling with an illness. The American Pharoah 4-year-old colt was well-beaten by Taiba in the Grade I RunHappy Malibu, though he did regain his speed and finished second in the seven-furlong affair on Dec. 26.
Forbidden Kingdom is the fastest horse and the classiest in the field. While he has hit the board in seven of nine outings, he is winless in his last four outings. Contender.
Spirit of Makenna (4/1)
Spirit of Makenna is relatively new to the racing game. But he has been very successful in his short three-race career, with a head being the difference between him being undefeated. Contender.
Clem Labine (20/1)
The longest shot in the field. Clem Labine has finished his second and third in his last two AOC races though he will face his stiffest competition here. Pass.
Get Her Number (9/5)
Get Her Number had a fantastic 2022 campaign, recording six top 3 finishes in eight starts though all three of his wins have come in AOC races during this stretch. The 6-year-old son of Dialed-In is coming off a ninth-place finish in The Pegasus World Cup Invitational. While Get Her Number is a contender, consistency is an issue.
Howbeit has been running reasonably consistently though he hasn’t hit the board in his last two races. The 7-year-old horse is coming off a fourth-place finish in the Grade III Palos Verde Stakes after a two-and-one-half month layoff. The 2022 Grade II Sprint Championships winner is undoubtedly a contender here.
Predicted Order of Finish: 1. Forbidden Freedom 2. Howbeit 3. Spirit of Makenna 4. Get Her Number 5. Holden the Lute 6. Clem Labine
Best Bet: $2 on Howbeit to Show
Other bets: $1 exacta box Forbidden Freedom/ Howbeit/ Spirit of Makenna
$2 win on Forbidden Freedom
Grade I $500,000 Beholder Mile Stakes
The Beholder Mile Stakes is a graded stake for fillies and mares 4-year-old and upwards. Eight runners are expected to go to post at 6:59 p.m. on Saturday.
This should also be a great race, as there are no overwhelming favorites, and five horses have odds of 5-1 or better. Fun to Dream is the favorite at 5-2, followed by Pauline’s Pearl (7/2), Midnight Memories (4/1), Desert Dawn (4/1), and A Mo Reay (5/1). While The Beholder Mile Stakes was inaugurated in 1940, it has been run at its current distance since 2016.
Jockey Flavien Prat will try for another San Carlos/Beholder Mile double, as he won this event last year with As Time Goes By for trainer Bob Baffert. Riding Get Her Number in the San Carlos, Pratt gets A Mo Reay in this one. Baffert has three horses in this year’s race with Midnight Memories, Ganadora, and Fun to Dream.
Kirstenbosch continues to improve every race. The 4-year-old daughter is coming off a victory in the one and one-sixteenth mile Grade III La Canada Stakes, nosing out Grandora at the wire on January 15. It was her third win and seventh top 3 finish in 10 career races for the closer, someone who should be considered using in exotics.
Pauline’s Pearl (7/2)
Pauline’s Pearl is coming off an impressive victory in the Grade III Houston Ladies Classic Stakes at the end of January, gaining nearly seven lengths in the stretch to win by almost two lengths. The 5-year-old daughter of Tapit has seven wins in 16 career starts, which includes multi-graded stakes victories and over $1.8 million in purse winnings. Contender.
Awake At Midnyght (10/1)
Awake At Midnyght has finished second to Fun Dream in the last two races, with both being seven-furlong graded stake events. She has eight top 3 finishes in 11 career starts. Pass.
Midnight Memories (4/1)
Midnight Memories finished outside the money for the first time in sixth races the last time out as she finished fourth in the Grade I La Brea Stakes on December 26. Two of the 4-year-old filly’s wins have come in graded stakes, winning the Grade 2 Zenyatta Stakes and Grade 3 Torrey Pines Stakes.
A Mo Reay (5/1)
A Mo Reay picked up her biggest career win by edging out Lovely Ride in the one and one-sixteenth mile Grade III Bayakoa Stakes on February 4 for her second straight win. The 4-year-old Uncle Mo filly has four wins and finished in the money eight times in 11 starts. Contender. Contender.
Ganadora is racing with less than three months off for the first time since last July. She was caught at the wire by Kirschenboch in her previous outing at this distance. Pass.
Desert Dawn (4/1)
Desert Dawn has been on the graded stakes tour for much of her career and has found quite a bit of success. The 4-year-old Cupid filly has finished in the money in her last five races, although she has not raced since being edged by Midnight Memories in the mile Grade 3 Torrey Pines Stakes in September. Consider in exotics.
Fun To Dream (5/2)
Fun To Dream has won six of seven starts, including four straight races, with the last two victories being of the graded stakes variety. She runs well at Santa Anita though this will be her first start at this distance. Pass.
Best Bet: $2 on A Mo Reay to win.
$2 exacta box A Mo Reay/ Desert Dawn/ Midnight Memories/ Pauline’s Pearl
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